It is an honor for the graduate students of History of Islam and Islamic Political Thought facilitated by Asst. Prof. Dr. Nassef Manabilang Adiong to invite everyone on May 16, 2018 (Wednesday) at 1:00 PM at the Bulwagang Salam of the Romulo Hall, UP Diliman for an open forum lead and lectured by three prominent intellectual and pious speakers of their respective faith traditions:
- Rabbi Eliyahu Azaria is the head of the Bait Yaacov Synagogue of the Jewish Association of the Philippines, the only synagogue in the country.
- Rev. Fr. Rolando V. Dela Rosa, O.P., SThD is the former Rector Magnificus of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and the University of Santo Tomas.
- Asst. Prof. Macrina A. Morados is the 8th Dean of the Institute of Islamic Studies of the University of the Philippines Diliman.
- 01:00–01:10 – Opening Remarks and Introduction of the 1st Speaker by Asst Prof. Dr. Nassef Manabilang Adiong
- 01:10–02:10 – The Jewish Faith by Rabbi Eliyahu Azaria
- 02:10–02:15 – Introduction of the 2nd Speaker by Mr. Simon Peter D.L. Ramos
- 02:15–03:15 – The Christian Faith by Rev. Fr. Rolando V. Dela Rosa, O.P., SThD
- 03:15–03:45 – Muslim Prayer and snacks for Rabbi Azaria, Fr. Dela Rosa, and their fellows
- 03:45–03:50 – Introduction of the 3rd Speaker by Ms. Jonty F. Biona
- 03:50–04:50 – The Islamic Faith by Dean Macrina A. Morados
- 04:50–06:00 – Open Forum by the three speakers moderated by Asst Prof. Dr. Nassef Manabilang Adiong
- 06:00 onwards – Iftar, the main meal of the fasting day, which occurs at sunset every day of the holy month of Ramadan.
Rabbi Eliyahu Azaria is the head of the Bait Yaacov Synagogue of the Jewish Association of the Philippines, the only synagogue in the country that houses a large function room, a spacious kosher kitchen, a library, classrooms, a mikveh and offices. The community owns a Jewish cemetery as well. Rabbi Azaria, a native of Chicago, and his family moved to the Philippines in September 2004, after his rabbinical studies and ordination at the Midrash Sephardi Yeshiva (Shehebar Sephardic Center) in Jerusalem. A graduate of the Joseph Straus Rabbinical Seminary’s Amiel Program (Straus-Amiel), Rabbi Azaria underwent training to meet the challenges of serving different communities, whether within monolithic religious communities, in mixed congregations with religious and secular members, or communities seeking to find their way back to Judaism. Straus-Amiel training covers understanding Diaspora communities; professional leadership; communications and public relations; family counseling, rhetoric and public speaking; guiding families through life-cycle events; the structure and management of the synagogue throughout the Jewish year; and contemporary questions in the Jewish world. After several years, the Jewish community in the Philippines has grown, their membership has almost tripled and they now have more visitors. The Friday night meals that they used to host at the Rabbi’s home were moved to the Social Hall because of the increase in the number of people coming that now ranges between 40 to 50 at night and 80 to 100 in the morning. With the help and support of their community, they have established a minyan on Mondays, Thursdays, Rosh Hodesh, Holidays, Shabbat and any other time that they have a special occasion like a Brit Milah, burial, wedding, etc.
Rev. Fr. Rolando V. Dela Rosa, O.P., SThD is the former Rector Magnificus of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and the University of Santo Tomas (UST), the oldest and the largest Catholic university in Asia. In 2004, he was appointed by then Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education. Reverend Father Dela Rosa was born in Legazpi City, Albay in 1953. He finished his primary and secondary education at Aquinas University Rawis in the same city, while he earned his BA degree in Philosophy at the Dominican House of Studies graduating Magna cum Laude (with great distinction). In 1980, Fr. Dela Rosa completed his second bachelor’s degree (with great distinction as well) in Sacred Theology at UST. Three years after, he was ordained to the priesthood and completed another two degrees from the same university, these are, Magna cum Laude in Licentiate in Sacred Theology and Summa cum Laude in the Master of Arts in Higher Religious Studies. By 1985, he attained full Professorship at the UST Ecclesiastical Faculty, and subsequently thereafter, he earned two highest Doctoral degrees from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. From 1990 to 1998, he was the President of the Association of Catholic Universities of the Philippines, and in 1995 he founded the Network of Dominican schools, colleges and universities in the country. In addition, he also served as the President of the International Council of Universities of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Over the years of his illustrious scholarly life, he has published books, journal articles, Manila Bulletin’s editorial pieces, and received several national and international awards, including the 1991 National Book Award in History, 1995 Outstanding Manila Award in Education, 1996 Medal of Highest Honor from South Korea’s Kyung Hee University, 1997 Catholic Authors Award, among others.
Asst. Prof. Macrina A. Morados is the 8th Dean of the Institute of Islamic Studies of the University of the Philippines Diliman. She finished her Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies and Bachelor of Laws at the Mindanao State University in 1991 and 2001, respectively. She earned her Master’s Degree in Islamic Studies at the UP-IIS in 2003 and presently pursuing her PhD in Philippine Studies at the UP Tri-College majoring in Philippine Culture and Society. She passed the Shariáh Bar Examinations and granted license to practice by the Supreme Court on November 7, 2006. Her field of expertise include: Muslim Personal and Family Relations (PD 1083), Muslim Women and Children’s Rights in Islam, Interfaith Relations, Islamic Civilization and History of the Muslims in the Philippines. She is co-author with Dr. Carmen A. Abubakar of the book titled: “CRC and Islamic Law Divergences and Convergences: The Philippine Case” (2007). In 2008, she was recipient of a Cultural Exchange Program granted by the US Department of State and Purdue University. Her recent published articles include topics on Theocentricism and Pluralism. She was Shari’ah Bar Examiner in 2008 and recently in 2013 for the subjects in Islamic Inheritance Law and Persons and Family Relations, respectively. For this year (2016), she is hoping to finish her second book titled: “Islamic Adab (Ethics) in the Context of Filipino Values,” a UP-IIS book project funded by Zayed University, Dubai, UAE. Recently, she was tapped by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) as Lecturer on the Islamic perspective during the National Gender and Development (GAD) Orientation Seminar conducted by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) held in various divisions particularly in the cities of Cagayan de Oro City, Davao, Cebu and Quezon City, Metro Manila She is also a member of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) under the Historical Injustice Study Group (2015). Also team leader of an ongoing research engagement (for Caloocan City Cluster) on the study: “Children and Harmful Work in the Philippines: A Child Rights Situational Analysis” in collaboration with Prof. Rufa Guiam of Mindanao State University, General Santos City and Save the Children International.